K.T. Rama Rao. (Photo:Twitter)
HYDERABAD: Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) working president K.T. Rama Rao on Monday said the state government had spent Rs 2.70 lakh crore on agriculture and allied sectors since its formation in June 2014. Speaking to media persons at Telangana Bhavan on the occasion of Rythu Bandhu financial assistance crossing Rs 50,000 crore mark on Monday, Rama Rao dared 'political tourists' from the BJP visiting Telangana to specify any other state which spent more than the Telangana government or brought revolutionary changes in agriculture sector for the benefit of farmers. He challenged the Opposition Congress and the BJP leaders to come for an open debate on this issue.
Giving the break-up of the amount spent, Rama Rao said the TRS government had spent Rs 50,000 crore on Rythu Bandhu, Rs 3,000 crore on Rythu Bima, Rs 19,000 crore on crop loan waiver scheme, Rs 41,786 crore on 24x7 free power to agriculture, Rs 1.16 lakh
crore on irrigation sector, Rs 951 crore on farm mechanisation, Rs 573 crore on construction of Rythu Vedikas, Rs 750 crore on construction of crop drying platforms (Rythu Kallam), Rs 5,000 on crore sheep distribution scheme, Rs 2,000 crore on dairy sector and 20,000 crore on distribution of fishlings.
"There are 28 states in India. I dare the BJP and the Congress to come forward for an open debate whether any of these states are spending or implementing the schemes on agriculture and allied sectors which are superior to Telangana. Political tourists are coming to Telangana and criticising the TRS and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. All kinds of tourists are welcome to Telangana. Tourism industry is in bad shape in the state due to Covid. It's easy to criticise anyone. If they have guts, they should come out with facts and figures on the schemes and the money spent on agriculture and allied sectors in their respective states," Rama Rao said.
Stating that Telangana under the TRS regime had not only become fertile in one crore acres, but also a granary of over three crore tonnes of paddy which is beyond storage capacity of the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Rama Rao said, "Today, Telangana is at the doorsteps of achieving five revolutions, namely green (agriculture), pink (meat), white (dairy), blue (fish) and plant (Haritha Haaram), due to the measures of the Chief Minister."
He said even the opposition leaders who owned farmlands were benefiting from the scheme. He pointed out that schemes like Rythu Bandhu were being emulated by other states ruled by the Opposition parties and even the BJP government at the Centre in the name of "PM Kisan Yojana".
Rama Rao thanked the Chief Minister on behalf of 65 lakh farmers and their families as well as the TRS activists for implementing the Rythu Bandhu scheme without any interruption since May 2018 despite financial constraints due to Covid.
While the TRS government waived off farm loans of two lakh farmers in its second term in office since December 2018, Rama Rao assured that the remaining farmers too would get the scheme benefits soon and the delay was because of Covid-induced financial crisis.
Rama Rao thanked people, especially farmers for participating in the Rythu Bandhu celebrations, in adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.